Winter Wardrobe Basics: A Puffer Jacket
I’m a huge proponent of the puffer jacket. They’re amazingly warm and, I think, surprisingly versatile. While I might get whacked for saying this, I think they’re perfectly acceptable to wear to work. Yes, even if your office dress code means you’re sporting a suit every day. Especially for a younger guy, a puffer coat can look more natural than trying to pull off a long overcoat that looks like you stole it from your grandfather.
Besides, when it comes to winter weather, function always overrides fashion. If you’re facing down sub-zero temperatures, driving snow and blustery winds, people should understand it’s more important to arrive at your destination looking slightly bulky than to show up in a more formal coat and a case of pneumonia.
The trick is to find one that’s understated and not overly puffy (if that makes any sense). If you want to wear yours as part of your daily wardrobe, it should not look like you just walked off the slopes. That means: no chair lift tags dangling from the zipper, no visible labels touting fancy “Vortex Climate TriMax” technology.
To that end, Esquire pulled together a great roundup of puffer jackets to go check out. This one from Spiewak is my favorite. Even though it’s green, it works as a neutral and isn’t at all ski jacket-y. I have my own Spiewak puffer, and I love it. I loooove it. I got it four years ago in Washington DC, while in town for the presidential inauguration. The winter coat I brought with me was woefully unfit for all the weekend’s outdoor activities, which, looking back, I probably should have been better prepared for January in DC…but I’m pretty sure it was extra cold there that winter. Really.
It also makes me feel like kind of a badass every time I wear it since the family-run company (started by a Polish immigrant in 1903 out of a one-bedroom loft in Williamsburg) also manufactures law enforcement uniforms.